To address Czechia's skilled labor shortage, the government has launched a new initiative to attract young talent from abroad.

Czech companies will now welcome up to 1,000 students from Indonesian technical schools each year. The Industry and Trade Ministry announced on Wednesday that the cabinet has approved this program, which aims to provide students with valuable experience and support key sectors of the Czech economy.

Boost for Industry and Economy

Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela stated that the project will target vital industries such as automotive, foundry, steel, and chemical manufacturing.

The program is tailored for Czech companies with a minimum of 500 employees, who will employ selected Indonesian students for a two-year period. These companies will provide accommodation, training, a coordinator, and a translator for the students.

The pilot phase, implemented in the second half of last year, saw 300 Indonesian workers join the Škoda Group's plant in Pilsen. These workers, aged 21 to 29, served as welders, locksmiths, and electricians, supporting Europe’s leading manufacturer of public transport vehicles.

The program has already shown benefits for both the workers and the state. If the quotas are met, the state budget is projected to receive CZK 5 million per year in administrative fees, as each worker pays CZK 5,000 for their application at the Czech Embassy in Jakarta. This is in addition to the economic contributions of the workers.

"The shortage of skilled labor is a pressing issue for our economy, and we are taking action to support our industries and companies in need of qualified employees," Síkela remarked during a cabinet meeting this week.

Part of a Broader Strategy to Attract Foreign Workers

Czechia is currently facing a significant worker shortage, with Labor Minister Marian Jurečka stating last year that the country needs around 200,000 workers across all industries. He emphasized the critical need for recruiting foreign workers to bridge this gap, estimating that this could contribute an additional CZK 40 billion to the national budget.

To mitigate this issue, Czechia has established multiple international agreements to attract workers. Last month, the country abolished the need for work permits for citizens from 10 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

Czechia has also initiated collaborations with Asian countries, such as Taiwan and the Philippines, increasing the maximum quota of workers from the latter by 5,000 last year. The Labor Ministry recently announced plans to establish close cooperation with institutions in Spain and Portugal to attract workers from southern Europe.

Starting this year, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia, and North Macedonia are eligible for special work visas to fill needed jobs in Czech agriculture. Photo by RasyaAbhirama13, Wikimedia commons.